Voiced retroflex affricate

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Voiced retroflex affricate
IPA number 106 (137)
Entity (decimal) ɖ​͡​ʐ
Unicode (hex) U+0256 U+0361 U+0290
Kirshenbaum dz.

The voiced retroflex affricate is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɖ͡ʐ, sometimes simplified to .[1] It occurs in such languages as Polish (the laminal affricate ) and Northwest Caucasian languages (apical).

Some scolars transcribe the laminal variant of this sound as /d͡ʒ/, even though it is not palatalized. In such cases the voiced palato-alveolar affricate is transcribed /d͡ʒʲ/.


Features of the voiced retroflex affricate:

  • Its manner of articulation is sibilant affricate, which means it is produced by first stopping the air flow entirely, then directing it with the tongue to the sharp edge of the teeth, causing high-frequency turbulence.
  • Its place of articulation is retroflex, which prototypically means it is articulated subapical (with the tip of the tongue curled up), but more generally, it means that it is postalveolar without being palatalized. That is, besides the prototypical sub-apical articulation, the tongue contact can be apical (pointed) or laminal (flat).
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation. However, in some languages (like Swiss German) it can just mean that this consonant is pronounced shorter and weaker than its voiceless counterpart, while its voicedness or lack thereof is not relevant. In such cases it's more accurate to call such sounds lenis or lax.
  • It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • It is a central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Belarusian лічба [lʲiɖ͡ʐbä] 'number' Laminal. See Belarusian phonology
Polish Standard[2][3] em About this sound [ɖ͡ʐɛm]  'jam' Laminal; it's transcribed /d͡ʒ/ by most Polish scolars. See Polish phonology
Southeastern Cuyavian dialects[4] dzwon [ɖ͡ʐvɔn̪] 'bell' Some speakers. It's a result of hypercorrecting the more popular merger of /ɖ͡ʐ/ and /d͡z/ into [d͡z].
Suwałki dialect[5]
Northern Qiang vvdhe [ʁɖ͡ʐə] 'star'
Russian[3][6] джем About this sound [ɖ͡ʐɛm]  'jam' Laminal. It's a very rare variant, and it's usually pronounced as 2 dedicated sounds: [dʐ]. See Russian phonology
Serbo-Croatian џем / em [ɖ͡ʐê̞m] 'jam' Laminal. It may be palato-alveolar instead, depending on the dialect. See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Slovak[7] ús [ɖ͡ʐuːs] 'juice' Laminal.
Torwali[8] ? [ɖ͡ʐiɡ̥] 'long' Contrasts with a palatal affricate.
Yi rry [ɖ͡ʐɪ˧] 'tooth'

See also[edit]